All the free stuff you can handle
Stick with us. As you know, the whole 3D-printing thing is absolutely in its infancy right now, but 2014 looks like becoming the year it goes mainstream.
So while a lot of this information is pretty basic right now we’re sure you’ll find something of interest here, whether you’re a total newbie or a seasoned vet of the scene.
Don’t forget to bookmark this page, as we add new stuff all the time and please do share our site with your friends.
Free 3D Printing Software and Resources
Autodesk create an excptionally useful suite of 3D modelling software that help designers of all levels do things like converting photos into extraordinary 3 dimensional models, create 3D designs on your iPad and fabricate complex model designs.
Lots of FREE DOWNLOADS and Lessons.
Loved by creative types the world over, AutoDesk 123D is the free software division of AutoDesk Printers and features plenty of innovative design tools as part of the 123D suite of products.
Plenty of Free Downloads as well as paid for software, filament and their own best-selling range of printers make 3DprintingSystems one of the leading sites.
Probably best known for their Photo2Mesh 2D software package but a company 3D Printing Systems is well ahead of the pack.
Top rated open-source software for the MakerBot Replicator, Thing-O-Matic, CupCake CNC, RepRap machine or any generic CNC machine. This cross platform software is easy to install and perfect for all levels of ability from beginner to advanced.
Comprehensive support and updates, plus a growing online community contributing means Replicator are building a real edge over the competition
Probably some of the easiest and straightforward 3d printing systems around, and FREE for a limited time you can create unlimited
TinkerCad is very easy to use with a very useful series of step-by-step lessons to walk you through the process of creating physical products from your own designs. Originally released back in 2011 Tinkercad became part of the larger AutoDesk group in 2013 but continues to operate as a standalone business.
Browser based 3D Design at its best.
A great resource for 3D printer users, featuring tutorials and guides to creating your own models from scratch.
3DPrint-UK – Information Hub is a great place for newbies.
A huge collection of downloadable models and software neatly divided up into sections. Even though it’s now owned by manufacturer MakerBot and is increasingly leaning twoards their hardware, Thingiverse is stil one of the big names in the free software scene.
Plenty of useful household objects and customizable designs for you to make yourself at Thingiverse.
Not much for free here, but they have a great store supplying all types of printing filament and spare parts for most popular makes of printer.
As such MakerGeeks is a valuable resource and the go-to site for experienced designers.
A totally free site with links to dozens of links to useful modelling sites, databases and 3D models/
Dunno why they don’t get their act together a bit more, but even as it is GeekArtGallery is a must have in your bookmarks.
Primarily a thinly veiled affiliate site 3DPrinter.net is another place with lots of great links to free models, plans, software and useful articles.
With a mission to bring 3D printing to the people, Bits from Bytes is another manufacturer offering free print files, models and technical design advice.
Nice and simple design this site is neatly divided into 3 sections; aplications, articles and resources. Plenty of free files for you to download, lots of focus on personal 3D printing and apps for every occasion.
Well worth a note in this section is the Windows 3D Builder software. Designed to work with all Windows 8.1 machines, this is a fun and easy to use piece of software that helps you turn digital objects into physical ones.
Including a vast library of objects to get you started, free tutorials and plenty of advice for newbies, this is a must-have piece of software.
The ideal tool for newbies, everyone knows Google’s SketchUp tool, cos it’s been around for years.
The biggest library around, a huge list of online parts and millions of pre-existing models, it may take a bit of getting used to, but SketchUp has Google behind it, which means you need a copy.
Believed by many experts to be the best open-source CAD program there is, Blender is a favourite of the gaming community and pro animators, with high res capacity.
A growing band of volunteers are now working on Blender, which makes it an exciting prospect for the future too.
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